The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued to the University of South Dakota Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of South Dakota. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Graduates from the Program are eligible for the national certification examination administered by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

NCCPA Physician Assistant National Certification Examination First-Time Pass Rate

Class Of Class Size First Time Takers First Time Takers Passed Program 1st Time Taker Pass Rate National 1st Time Taker Pass Rate
2012 19 19 18 95%  93%
2013 19 19 16 84% 94%
2014 22 22 21 95% 95%
2015 25 25 23 92% 96%
2016 23 23 22 96% 96%

NCCPA Pass Rate Summary Report

Program Goals

The University of South Dakota Physician Assistant Program’s goals are to:

1. Recruit and Admit Qualified Applicants

2. Provide the means and support for every student to successfully complete the program and obtain employment

3. Provide a rigorous academic and clinical curriculum that prepares students to achieve first time PANCE percentage pass rates above the national average  

4. Support the primary care regional workforce needs

5. Improve access to medical care in South Dakota

6. Provide the means and support for student to develop professionalism

See Detailed Program Goals for more information. 

We demonstrate achievement of our goals by compiling data from the NCCPA, continuous program evaluation and graduating students.